Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sleep: A Mythical Quest?

Oh, nap time! Simultaneously the bane of my existence and one of the bright spots of my day.

I remember struggling to get LP to go down for her naps when she was AK's age. However, I did confidently schedule conference calls for 11am knowing that it was LP's nap time. And more likely than not she was asleep at this time. And again around 2:30.

AK is a whole 'nother ball game. Since starting day care at the tender age of three months AK has only taken ONE nap a day. And, for the most part, since entering her new classroom in early March, her single rest period has been in the morning. Keeping in mind that she is only 11 months old, consider this schedule:
  1. 7/8 am: Wake Up, Breakfast, etc.
  2. 11-12: Nap
  3. 12-2:30 pm: Lunch, gym, chilling with friends, snack
  4. 2:30-4 pm: Other kids nap, AK feigns napping and plays quietly
  5. 5 pm: Snack, pick up
  6. 6 pm: Dinner
  7. 7 pm: MELT DOWN. Just in time for the Hoos and me to have dinner.
  8. 7:30: Bath and Bed

When AK is home with me, she also only naps once. BUT, I have enough control over our daily schedule that I can force her nap time to be after lunch. If she sleeps from 12:30-2, all will be okay with the world. This is also pretty good because it kind of coincides with LP's nap time (not that we ever really get a break unless they fall asleep in the car, but a mom can dream).

Unfortunately, in AK's current classroom they have a set schedule, including 2 naps - at 10:30 and at 2:30. Which is great if your kid follows it.

If, say, your little baby only naps from 11:05 until 12:10, you end up with a miserable, adorable, crying mess on your hands.

As is the case most nights in our house.

Last night I had to defer my dinner and give AK a bath at 7 and she was out like a light by 7:15. She slept until 3:30; I nursed her to sleep (I KNOW, I need to stop doing that, ESPECIALLY considering I started weaning her to whole milk this week); and she slept until 6:30. Not bad, but not enjoyable for anyone. Who wants a screaming kid? Who barely gets to see her Daddy at night?

Today we asked the day care to see if they could keep her from napping in the morning. I know, it sounds cruel and unusual, but we frankly don't see any other choice. They have to put her down in her crib at the aforementioned times (obviously if one kid was out and playing, all of the good nappers would be distracted and refuse to sleep), but we are hoping she can barrel through the day until the afternoon nap and be as sweet as pie when I pick her up.

Other thoughts?

Or how about ideas on how to get an almost 3 year old to go to bed at night? We have fallen in to a horrific routine of LP wanting to pee on the potty every 5 minutes once in bed. If I am trying to encourage her staying dry at night so we can get out of pull-ups, I can't refuse her request.

Or can I?

Anyone else noticing that their almost-3 kids are hitting the Terrible Twos?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

An Epidemic of Stupidity

And so our love-hate relationship with the media continues. The latest flare-up: Swine Flu.

To me, this is totally ridiculous. "AHHH! A new strain of flu! Not caused by eating pork or pork-related products! Like the regular flu, but with a swanky name! AAHHH! Close the borders! Stop eating tortilla chips! Throw out your salsa! No Mexican food for a month!"

Granted, I have not read many articles on the craze. And this is not because they aren't available. Every newspaper in the country is headlining stories about swine flu, its deadly toll, and what precautions everyone should take.

100 people or so have died so far! In Mexico! According to the NY Times, it is estimated that the regular seasonal flu kills close to 40,000 people in the U.S. each year.

Helpful hints from a regular mom fighting germs on a daily basis:
oh, and

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Step Up

As I have stated before, I am vertically challenged. Therefore, we have several in high kitchen cupboards and the sweaters on the top shelf of my closet.

However, since LP became mobile, the stools have migrated in to other rooms of the house, like her bedroom and the living room. Frequently she will move them about to help her accomplish a goal - like climbing in to the Hoos' and my bed in the early morning hours or turning on our bedroom light in an attempt to rouse us.

Since becoming potty trained, the stools are more likely found in a bathroom to help LP wash her hands ("BY MYSELF!!!") after using the facilities ("BY MYSELF!! IN PRIVATE!"). Last night the Hoos came into the bathroom while I was brushing my teeth and found me standing on one of the aforementioned stools, "What are you trying to see what it would be like if you were tall?" I blushed, but nodded in affirmation.

And then he came and stood next to me. And he was still about 4 inches taller than me. He is 5'8. Meaning, tall to me is 5'4. How sad is that? Man, I hope my girls are taller than me.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pay It Forward

LP and AK are almost 3 and almost 1, respectively. And yet I find myself thinking of them going to college.

Not in the weepy, "Oh, my babies will be going off to college in 15 years!" sort of way; more in the "How the heck are we going to pay for college in 15 years?" sort of way.

The Hoos and I went to one of the most expensive colleges in the country. I am not saying that because I am snotty and proud, I am saying that because I am shocked and appalled. Going to school in the nation's capital was cool and all, but is my education worth more than an Ivy education? Or a SUNY education? Likely not.

I was fortunate that my parents gave me the option of deciding which school to attend. I am sure SUNY Binghamton would have been a preferred, more cost-effective route, but I was interested in politics and thirsting for life in "the big city." All things considered, GW was a great fit for me; I got my degree, worked for the Feds during school and the summers, and acquired useful skills and gainful employment upon graduation. And I met the Hoos.

I also left school with debt. And left my parents with debt as well. Fortunately, because of the step-up my college education provided me, the values my parents instilled on me, and some lucky breaks, I haven't had to hit them up for assistance any time since.

When the time comes, I hope that I can offer my girls the same option that my parents provided to me. But I have to admit, I am scared sh*tless at the thought of them wanting to go to the most expensive college in the country considering how much will a year of college will likely cost in 2024!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

No Going Back

Can you recall moments from your past where it dawned on you that life was never going to be the same?

Although my mother remembers this moment for a different reason (something about my callus 18-year old self waving goodbye and shooing them out), the first one I can clearly remember was when my parents dropped me off at college, George Washington University, located in downtown Washington, DC.

As my parents prepared to leave, they asked me one last time, "Is there anything else you need?" and I responded, "Oh! Yes! I forgot a nail clipper! Can you send me one when you get home?!" My parents looked at me like I was insane and directed me to walk the four blocks up 19th Street and get it myself.

Toto, we weren't in Bohemia anymore.

Earth Day and All Night

Yay for Earth Day! Since last year I actually think I have made a very small positive impact in terms of "greening" our family.
  • I now use reuseable grocery bags 98% of the time.
  • We use several GreenWorks products in cleaning our home.
  • Our compost bin is up and running and the Hoos has been using the result to fertilize the garden - which will include blueberries this year!
  • I have Freecycled a few items collecting dust in our basement
  • We are reusing lots and lots of LP's old clothes on AK (get used to it kid!)

In night time news, I have realized that I am treating AK differently than I treated her big sister.

At 11 months old LP was sleeping through the night; waking up at 2:30 or 3 was an exception that was important enough to be noted in blog entries from April 2007. When she did wake up at an unacceptable hour, we ignored her for longer and I never nursed her.

Granted, AK has had colds and various other minor ailments more frequently, so I definitely coddle her more; I go in to check her temperature and make sure she is okay when I might otherwise just put a pillow over my head. I also feed her in the middle of the night for a couple of minutes, knowing it is just easier than waiting out her screaming.

I can't figure out if AK is the luckiest girl on the planet or if I am just a moron. Probably a bit of both.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mistaken Identity

Today I was sure I had picked the wrong child up from day care.

Supposedly LP had a good day until I arrived.

She left the classroom no problem. And, even though I told her we couldn't go to the playground because of lousy weather, I told her we could go to Stew's. She seemed happy and told her friends, calling out, "Adios, Amigos!" over her shoulder as we left.

However, once in the hallway, she didn't want to leave the building.

I had to physically carry her, and the infant carrier housing AK, to the car. It took another 20 minutes to strap the writhing, hysterical mess into the car. And even that was done just barely. She screamed and cried the whole way home. AK and I were both scared, but AK cried, I just laughed in awe.

Getting her out of the car was no easier. She had removed her shoes, it was windy, cold and raining. I again had to carry both girls to the house. After turning off the alarm and getting both girls into the kitchen, LP ran around behind me, opened the locked back door and attempted to run outside.

Much like childbirth, I never yelled at her. I tried to talk to her in a calm and soothing voice and hold her tight against me (even when she was biting my hand), eventually I had no recourse but to lock her in her room. AK was upset and needing attention too. Thank goodness we still have the gate up.

She finally calmed down and is now acting as if nothing had happened. My nerves are shot.

I hope the right kid comes home with me tomorrow.

I know my mom is reading this and chuckling knowingly. I was a tantrum thrower. Then again, I don't think she would believe that her sweet, funny little LP was this child either.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ignorance is Bliss

I have distinct memories from when I was eight or nine of having nightmares.

I don't remember what the bad dreams were, but I do remember calling out, "Mom..."

When she didn't answer I would add to my chant, "Mom...Dad..."

After doing that for a while, desperation would set in and I would add my older brother in to the mix, "Mom...Dad...Adam?"

After a few minutes of that I had my complete song, "Mom...Dad...Adam...Anyone?" If "anyone" other than the former three had answered, we would have had really problems.

Finally after doing this for what seemed like hours and increasing the volume periodically someone would answer.

Only within the past year or so did I realize that volume wasn't the problem. They were ignoring me, hoping I would wear myself out and fall back to sleep. For thirty-two years this hadn't occurred to me. And than I had kids.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Yesterday I put my foot down.

When I picked the girls up at day care, LP's teacher told me that my big girl had a meltdown. Something about hula hoops and not wanting to share and freaking out. Awesome. So sorry I missed it.

So, combined with her unfortunate behavior that morning, I knew that action was needed. But what?

When cute little MK asked LP if she wanted to go on the slide with her, the answer was clear.

"I'm sorry, MK," I told her, "but LP wasn't a very good girl today so she can't go on the playground. Maybe if she has a better day tomorrow."

And that was that. LP didn't whine or complain. She simply put on her coat, held my hand, and walked out to our car. It was very sweet. But also devastating, because I wanted to go outside and sit with my friend, MLH, MK's mom.

I also used the bribery recommended by so many. Last night I told LP that if she was a good girl today I would put a special treat in her lunchbox, "cookies with sprinkles" (really nonpareils, but she doesn't grasp that they are pure chocolate with no cookie to be found). And, to ice the cake, I said if she was good and the weather was nice, we would also go to the playground.

The Hoos said both girls were great today. They still got out of the house later than they wanted, but that may be due to the fact that they heard a transformer blow as they were eating breakfast, causing a power outage.

The true test will be around 5 when I pick the girls up.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Using My Voice

Some of you might have heard that the budget proposal put forth by Connecticut Governor Rell cuts funding to many of the state's treasures. Instead of sitting by idly, I drafted and sent the following letter to the Governor, cc'ing my local representatives. I highly recommend that other CT residents consider doing something similar.

Governor Rell -
When my husband and I moved to Connecticut in 2004, we did so primarily to be close to family. My husband was born and raised in Fairfield and his family had owned property - a farm! in Bridgeport! – locally, going back several generations.

In essence, they determined to settle in Connecticut for many of the same reasons that people still choose to make the Nutmeg State their home today - it is a wonderful environment to raise a family, offering vast and wonderful resources.

At least it did, until your most recent budget proposal.

Your 2010-2011 budget proposal brings many of the fantastic community assets so valued in the state to their knees: from the Mystic Aquarium (that I traveled to as a 5th grader with my class from Long Island) to the Beardsley Zoo. It is these treasures that make our students more well-rounded, providing hands-on experiences they might not otherwise have.

I recognize that tough times often call for drastic measures. I note that in your budget proposal you make many efforts to maintain funding for education programs, for which I commend you. However, I do feel you are short-changing the youth of Connecticut by cutting these programs that provide education beyond the walls of the classroom.

I strongly recommend you reconsider pulling funding for municipal museums (e.g., the Stepping Stones) and related facilities (e.g., the Aquarium and Maritime Center). Without the much-needed support of our state government, many of these facilities will have no option but to close. As was pointed out in a recent New York Times article, you can't simply shut an exhibit at a zoo. The tigers still need to be fed and cared for, the otters will still squawk for fish and our children will still need a venue to interact with the natural environment, despite living in a crowded city, suburb or rural area.

I appreciate that you have a difficult job, but as the Governor of our state and as a parent, and grandparent, I hope you can help keep Connecticut the ideal environment for families that my husband's ancestors chose generations ago.

Thank you,

Good Karma Day

I have a feeling today will be a good day.

It doesn't hurt that I didn't have to get out of bed until 5:45. And, I think AK might have even slept longer if her older sister hadn't woken up calling out, "Mommmmyyyyyyyyyy. I want to come in your bed."

The Hoos took care of LP and got her to go back to sleep. But as soon as he got back in bed AK was up and calling for me. I was able to nurse her and get her back to dreamland by a little after 6. During my quiet time with AK, LP did get up out of bed mumbling about a turtle. I have no idea what or why, but the Hoos got her back to bed before I left AK's room.

When I got to work I was hankering for some caffeine despite my relatively good night's sleep. Unfortunately, since it is Passover, I can't use the powdered creamer (it has some soy product in it, verboten during Passover; because, you know, soy wasn't used by the Jews wandering the desert - BECAUSE IT DIDN'T EXIST MAYBE?!?). And there is no way I am drinking black coffee. Fortunately we have a vending machine with 14 ounce containers of milk. Highway robbery at $1.50 each, I decided to suck it up and pay. As the machine spit out my container the one behind it followed. Yay! So I almost feel like I didn't get totally ripped off. And maybe I can sell the second bottle (the last one) and get my $ back. Sweet!

I was feeling good about today. Until the Hoos just called me and told me that he was considering selling LP on eBay. She is being a pain this morning. She is very willful refusing to do anything without major prodding and taking years to accomplish even the simplest tasks. The Hoos hasn't gotten to work on time in about six months.

Is this the terrible twos? The thrilling threes? Anyone have any helpful hints for getting a toddler out the door in the morning that doesn't involve a wrestling match?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Maybe It's a Good Thing

Maybe it is a good thing that LP talks so much and teaches her classmates things. I am once again horrified at her daily report. This one line just says it all.

During circle time [LP] enjoy a book called "were's the sun's at"

WHAT? I can't even figure out what to try to search for on Amazon to figure out the actual name of the book!

"She's So Verbal"

I was talking to a friend with kids about the same age as LP and AK yesterday and she was asking me if AK says anything yet. Kind of...sort of....okay, not really. A little "mama" and "da-da" but mostly just sounds directed at nothing in particular.

We then discussed the fact that we just don't remember a time when our older children weren't talking. Dude, I think the only time LP doesn't speak is when she is sleeping. And even then she says some weird stuff. She pretty much chatters incessantly about anything and nothing all the time. It is adorable and wonderful and occasionally mind-numbing.

Yesterday one of the teachers in LP's classroom relayed a conversation she overheard between LP and her classmate.

{NOTE: some words slightly modified to avoid this blog being labeled as inappropriate by spam filters}

LP: [Billy] you have a peanuts.
Billy (dancing around proudly): I have a peanuts! I have a peanuts!

OMG! I must have turned bright red. The teacher (the lovely Miss C) said, "She is so verbal!" which, as we all know is teacher-speak for, "She has a big mouth." I guess I now know two things:
  1. LP is the bad influence
  2. I am glad we taught her the clinical term, can you imagine if she was teaching her class anatomy slang?!

Monday, April 13, 2009

All Knowing

As parents, we some times have to pretend we know the answers to things we have no clue about. My strategy is to say everything with confidence and hope my girls forget my made-up answers before they repeat them.

However, I really should be taking a lesson from my kids. I think they both have ESP.

Last night LP seemed to know that AK wouldn't wake up until 4; so she (LP) woke up at 1:30. She just sensed that mommy would be available at that time and be itching to hang out. Oddly enough, LP typically sleeps through the night. What a wonderful way to use an exception!

AK also seems to have a sixth sense. For a 10 month old she is incredibly aware of which of her fingernails has the sharpest, most jagged edge. She knows how to wield it to cause maximum discomfort to anyone lucky enough to be in her midst.

All I know is that I am outnumbered.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Crazy Like a Loon

The last week has been crazy.

Last Saturday my brother-in-law and nieces came in from Hungary. They came to our house immediately after arriving (along with my in-laws and other brother-in-law and his family) for a bagel dinner.

Sunday was my mother-in-law's birthday celebration and we had brunch at The Red Barn (an institution here in Southwestern Connecticut and one of the last taverns still standing despite the recent economic turmoil). While it was nice, it definitely reminded me how much I hate the "all you can eat" brunch idea.

First, there is no way I possibly eat $25 worth of food. Good for the restaurant, bad for the person picking up the check. Second, in case you haven't noticed, I am not a patient woman by nature. Buffet brunches are so freaking inefficient! I always get stuck behind a slow moving old couple. And you can't really jump ahead. People will give you the evil eye. The only "all you can..." concept I ever liked was the "all the watered-down beer you can drink" in college. For a few months during my freshman year I might have drank my money's worth (of water).

Monday I went in to the office. This is unusual for me since Monday is typically a work from home day. So unusual that my brother-in-law called in the afternoon and asked about getting together and pretty much invited his family over for dinner. I got home with the girls at 5:30, I fed the girls at 6 while I made meatballs, my five guests showed up around 6:15 and we sat down to eat around 6:45. I went to bed at 9:30. The Hoos asked me if I was sick; In case the look I shot him didn't say it all, I replied "No, just EXHAUSTED."

Tuesday was pretty normal. Except the Hoos had a work event and didn't get home until after both girls were bathed and in bed.

Wednesday the Hoos and I kept the girls home and both worked from home in the morning in anticipation of leaving for the first Seder at my parents' house shortly after lunch. We both got a minimal amount accomplished for work and left at 1:30. We then sat in traffic and two hours later got to Bohemia. LP fell asleep approximately 15 minutes before we pulled in to their driveway. Everyone enjoyed the Seder and my girls charmed all of the guests by being very well-behaved and all-around adorable. The drive was shorter, but LP didn't fall asleep until we got back to CT. She talked the entire rest of the trip.

Thursday I was back at work. Until 3:30. Then I had to pack up, get the girls and head to my in-laws for 24 more people and the second Seder.

Friday everyone was off and we met the Hoos' brothers (and their families), his parents and some other folks at the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport. We then went back to my in-laws house for a dinner of leftovers.

Today was much calmer. You know you have had a rough week if you consider a birthday party for a 3-year old relaxing. I did learn that if you show up to a party with two kids under two by yourself, people want to help. At some points other people were watching BOTH of my kids and I had nothing to do but sit on the couch and chat. It was almost like an hour at a spa; how sad is that?!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Can't Help Myself

First, I need to say that I am much better rested today than I was yesterday. I went to sleep at 9:30 - before LP - and I managed to stay asleep (or close enough) until AK woke up at 5. I had more uninterrupted hours of sleep last night than total sleep the night before. Thank you, AK and whoever is looking down on me for that!

Now I have to be snarky. Against someone I don't even know.

I recently began using/participating in "Freecycling." For the uninitiated, basically instead of throwing something out and having it go to a landfill, you post items you want to get rid of on a local message board. Interested parties email you with a day and time they will pick the item up. You then leave it on your driveway, on the curb, whatever, and they pick it up. You don't get paid for the item, but you get rid of it. And seriously, don't we all just have crap we want to get rid of?

In addition to posting items, you can request items on the board. Last week I posted a request for a 4x4 to use as a pole for a recently purchased birdhouse. Someone came through and a perfect piece of wood was secured FOR FREE. It was great. I might have even converted the Hoos to the benefits of freecycling.

Today the following was posted to the local message board. I have to read it through three times before I finally figured out what the person was requesting. I will not further my snark by commenting on it. Just posting it is enough.

hi we are looking for a out door piret climb on for kids i think its made by fisher price ,we have a truck so we can pick up asap, thanks so much

Monday, April 6, 2009

Calling the Exorcist

For the last few weeks, AK has been waking up only once a night. Ideally it was closer to 6, but occasionally it was as early as 4. Each time, after eating she would go back to sleep and rest quietly until 7 or 8.

And then there was last night.

She was up at 1:20. Screaming her head off. Sitting up. Completely inconsolable except for the magic elixir.

She was up at 4. Screaming her head off. Sitting up. Complete inconsolable...

She was up at 6:25. Screaming her head off. Sitting up...

This was not one of those times where you can just let the baby be and let her cry it out. This was unlike any usual crying. It was miserable. I am exhausted. The Hoos is exhausted. AK is likely happy as a clam, enjoying the attention and the buzz from the Orajel that I applied at 6:45 in order to get her off of my boob so I could get ready for work.

In unrelated news, my niece Julie is also growing quickly! Check out her experience at a stamp show with my brother on his blog.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

You Wear It Well

Here is another picture of AK (with her big cousin, Noemi) in her little dress. At some point I determined that putting on the matching bloomers was silly, she was wearing a buttoned onesie underneath anyway. While changing her diaper I put the bloomers in the diaper bag and promptly forgot about them.

Some time later LP I found LP washing her hands at the kitchen sink with her daddy. Apparently she no longer felt the need to wear her dress, but she definitely thought her sister's bloomers added a little magic to her outfit.

Our Little Chugbug

We call AK our little chugbug because she really hauls arse when she crawls around the house.

My friend Amy gave me a pair of Babylegs to see if either of the girls would wear them (apparently Chlo-Chlo has decided she is too cool for them). I wasn't sure exactly how or when to use them, but I put them on with her little dress today. They make me want to nibble on her chubby little legs even more!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Signature Sayings

When my nephew, O, was 2 or so he was playing with his father and sister and all of a sudden started yelling out "Hickle fee, Aba! Hickle fee!" Poor kid is now 10 and we all still remember this story of his way of saying "Tickle me, Aba!" Probably because his father (Aba is Hebrew for Dad), my brother-in-law called everyone and told us this hysterical story.

Similarly his big sister, M, now 12 will always be remembered for telling us she was wearing "longs" when she wore regular pants (obviously as opposed to shorts).

I am still reminded of the time I ran crying to my mother after a conversation with my cousin yelling, "Mommy, why don't I have scronuts?!"

LP is well on her way to making a lasting impression. She has taken to saying "I'm all dressed off!" when she removes her clothes in preparation for a bath. I am sure this is only the beginning.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Taking a Hint

Hint #1. Yesterday I was in the mood to be a good mom. So I made a little book about LP's adventures with Zooza. To the right are some pics from the book.

I sent it to the Hoos to see what he thought. He told me 1. I was nuts; 2. LP would like it; and 3. I used like 3 different animals instead of just squirrels.

LP did love the book, but every other page she would turn to me and say, "Is this a hedgehog?" or "Mommy, is this squirrel pooping?" [IT WAS ITS TAIL!!]

Hint #2. Later in the day I went to pick the girls up at day care. When I walked in the door to LP's classroom she looked at me, astonished. "Mommy, your legs are brown!"

Yes, ladies and gentleman, I was wearing a skirt and hose for only the second time in about a year. My daughter noticed. She even insisted her friends take notice, "CAMMIE! Look at my mommy's legs!"

Finally, this morning, Hint #3.

Usually AK wakes up around 5, nurses for two minutes and goes right back to bed. I am also able to go back to sleep since I haven't even woken up at this point.
Today AK woke up at 5:30. She ate for 10 minutes and then took a really stinky poop. After changing her diaper and getting her back to bed, I was wide awake.
So, what did I learn?
  1. I am not a nature girl. Whatever. But I am halfway decent with PhotoShop.
  2. In terms of nature vs. nurture, nurture is winning. My girls aren't girly-girls because I'm not. If I wore skirts and dresses more, LP would be FancyNancy in no time. Still not happening.
  3. My kids want me to exercise more. Obviously after all of the diaper changing and disposing, I was wide awake. I ended up going on the treadmill for half an hour before getting ready for work.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Over the Line? And Silliness

The Hoos and I were discussing my last blog post. He thought it was too catty for me to post about a small child in such a snarky way. He is not a regular blog reader and didn't actually read the post, he just heard my description of it. "Delia" is a pseudonym and her mom does not read this blog. Knowing that, what do you think? Too catty? Should I take it down?

And now, the silliness, conversations from this morning.

Me: Did you have good dreams?
LP: I dreamed about a silly squirrel. His name was Zooza.

Me: Are you eating breakfast?
LP: No, Mommy. I am talking on the phone to you.